Moynihan Train Hall: A Convergence of High Technology and High Art

A project as visionary as its namesake, the 2022 EEA Grand Conceptor Award-winning Moynihan Train Hall is a triumph of technology and artistry that represents the best of both of those worlds.

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Its namesake, New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was the first to suggest that the underused Farley Post Office Building could be a viable alternative to the recently demolished Penn Station. Moynihan was quoted as asking, “Where else but in New York could you tear down a beautiful Beaux Arts building and find another one right across the street?”

While it would take nearly three decades for Moynihan’s vision to become reality, the ultimate result is both astonishingly beautiful and exceptionally functional. The Severud Associates-designed Moynihan Train Hall features a 30,000-square-foot main boarding concourse, formerly the mail sorting room, and a 92-foot-high roof featuring dramatically arched skylights supported by original but previously hidden and innovatively reinforced latticed steel trusses.

The Moynihan Train Hall created a modern transportation hub that improved both interconnectivity and access. The Hall hosts passengers traveling Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor route from Washington, DC to New York and Boston, connecting the epicenter of American politics with its epicenters of finance and business. It also serves as a waiting room for the Long Island Railroad’s 52 million customers per year. The Hall reduces traffic to Penn Station, the western hemisphere’s busiest transit facility, which (pre-pandemic) saw more than 650,000 passengers per day – three times more than it was built to accommodate.

An opening ceremony for the Hall was held in December 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction had continued throughout that pandemic year, serving as a reminder that New York City would be back and open for business. The Hall opened to the public on New Year’s Day 2021. A new era had begun.